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A bit about me...

I have been posting to this blog since October of last year on many approaches to chronic pain management. I came to realize that many of you know that I have some professional credentials, so I know a bit about pain management in that regard. But you might not know that I have personal experience in dealing with chronic pain as well. So, this post is all about me and the various pain issues I deal with in life.

Don't let the turkeys get you down!

Ever since I was a young teen, I have been plagued with migraine headaches.  Most of my issues in this regard seemed to be worsened by hormonal cycles.  Now that I have past that part of my life, I still get an occasional migraine, but for the most part life is good in this regard.  That being said, I can't even begin to tell you how many days I spent sick in bed because of a migraine headache.  Many times I could not even eat or drink for hours on end because of this.  I am ever so grateful that this is in the past!

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my mid-thirties. Fortunately this is limited to one knee. I have physical restrictions because of this.  It was really tough back when my daughter was young--no jump rope for Mom!  To my advantage, I have been actively exercising for many years.  A few years ago I gained some weight and decided to make some very big lifestyle changes with respect to diet. I lost 25 pounds and it has made all the difference in the world!  While I must still live with some restrictions, my knee is pain free most of the time.  There may come a day when I need to consider surgery for joint replacement. But for now it's all good.

Lastly, I have carpal tunnel syndrome. For the most part it is not bothersome but here again living with restrictions is the rule.  I love to crochet and this can be a real challenge when I am totally engrossed in a project. Someday surgery for that problem may be in order; but for now I just have to stick to the rules.

These issues are certainly not equivalent to some pain conditions...but they are chronic and I have lived with them all for a  very long time.  I try not to let the turkeys get me down!

Photo source: Flickr


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Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…